Ecotricity, the company behind plans to create a wind farm on the outskirts of Burnham-On-Sea, unveiled major changes to the project when an appeal hearing got underway in the town on Tuesday (August 7th). It now wants to build four turbines instead of the planned five.
Over 50 people crowded into Burnham’s Princess Hall as the eight-day appeal hearing began.
Planning inspector Robin Brooks opened the proceedings on behalf of The Planning Inspectorate, before Marcus Trinick presented an opening statement on behalf of the applicant, Next Generation Limited, a subsidiary of Ecotricity.
He revealed that the company is putting forward an amended application with one fewer turbine on the site near a farm off Stoddens Lane, pictured above. The original scheme was for five turbines – each one almost 80 metres tall – to be constructed, as shown on the map above.
Mr Trinick said: “The appellant was aware of concerns in relation to turbine five – and the effects on properties in Brent Knoll. While the appellant still believes that the five turbine scheme should receive permission, it has nonetheless put both options before you.”
Sedgemoor District Council then gave its opening comments to the hearing and said that “four wind turbines are no more acceptable than five.”
The council added that the proposed location is “inappropriate” and that the development would fundamentally change the landscape around Brent Knoll.
Christine Miles said submitting a four turbine application was “bizarre” and that this smaller proposed site would generate 20 per cent less energy.
The appeal is due to run for eight days, but with over 80 documents of information to sift through, some believe it could extend beyond a fortnight.
Ecotricity’s hopes of building the wind farm were originally dashed last August when Sedgemoor planners turned down the scheme. It submitted its appeal earlier this year.
This week, a dozen campaigners from the Knoll To Wind Farm group will submit evidence in their fight against the application, while local ‘green’ pressure group FORCE (Families For Clean Energy) will argue in favour of the plan.
Burnham Town Council and Brent Knoll Parish Council are being represented by a joint solicitor, Tony Mason.
7 August 2007
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